After blowing out my ACL, MCL, LCL and Meniscus before my senior football season at Worcester Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts, I wondered what my future would look like. Depending heavily upon recruiting to go to college, I was overcome with grief, confusion and doubt. Luckily for me, despite my injury and consequential ACL reconstruction surgery, many schools including Lehigh University still pursued me.
I had my first ACL reconstruction in October of 2007, and upon completion of my rehabilitation schedule provided to me by my UMass surgeon, I would be ready to go for my first year of college football. I committed to Lehigh in late November of 2007 and was looking forward to getting back on the field in an even more competitive environment.
I arrived at Lehigh in the summer before my freshman year to train with the team and go through even more rehab on my “brand new” left knee. About a month into the season, after noticing some significant instability in recent weeks, my left ACL ruptured again. And again, I faced another reconstructive surgery.
After reviewing my MRI results, which I knew would reveal the bad news, Dr. Wayne Luchetti confirmed my belief. However, he also informed me that from the MRI, he deduced that the UMass surgeon who performed my first construction had made some mistakes that were most likely the root cause of my instability and eventual re-tear. At that point I was excited to get the surgery over with and just get back to playing football… again.
I had my second ACL surgery at Coordinated Health’s Highland Avenue location with Dr. Luchetti in November of 2008. The disparity between my treatment at UMass and Coordinated Health was incredible. Coordinated Health’s superior post-surgery treatment was clear to me when my surgeon, Dr. Luchetti, came to my hospital room around 11pm the night of my surgery to check in on me and explain how the upcoming months would play out. Nurses came to my room what seemed like every 15 minutes to make sure I was comfortable. The chef also swung by my room to personally take my order (which consisted of scallops, green beans, clam chowder, Caesar salad and cheesecake—a much appreciated break from college food).
Though at the time I didn’t really think about the excellent treatment I was getting (probably because of the morphine and the pain), I realized soon after that the nurses, therapists, surgeon and everyone else involved seemed like they were looking after me and making sure that this normally “sucky” experience was as enjoyable as possible.
I had been to the Boston Children’s Hospital and various UMass Medical locations for procedures, two of the best hospitals in the country. However, I never left them feeling like I had received the amount of attention, care and expertise that I did when I crutched out of Coordinated Health’s hospital in October of 2008.
After surgery, I began the long rehabilitation process yet again. They started me off with Mike Price, a physical therapist at Coordinated Health who just happened to be a fellow Mountain Hawk (Lehigh class of 1999). Working specifically with Mike and Ramon Pedraza, I not only felt like I was making progress on my knee but I also felt like I could talk to them about almost anything. The training staff always had some sort of funny debate going whether it be about sports, the office fantasy football league or oldies music trivia.
Entering my sophomore year, after another long year of rehab, I was finally ready to get back on to the field and play some football. My new knee was doing well and I really only had some minor pain and soreness, nothing that wasn’t expected. Practicing for two months, trying to get back into the swing of things after over two years of no football, I felt confident that I could finally make an impact.
Again, it was not meant to be. My left shoulder, which had a pre-existing injury form high school, was injured further during practice. Trying to play through it with a brace for stabilization did not work, which was really my only hope of staying active. Dr. Luchetti examined me, sent me for another MRI, and in the end, the labrum in my shoulder was torn almost entirely around.
I had Labrum surgery in early January of 2010 with Dr. Luchetti at Coordinated Health and I am currently working on getting back into football shape and looking forward to the 2010 Lehigh football season.
Though athletically, I have had a tough time staying healthy, the treatment and individual care I have received from Coordinated Health has made the experiences easier, simpler and more comfortable